Here’s Six Reasons Why
Following a motorcycle accident, you may experience stress and anxiety beyond just your physical injuries and worry about what’s to come. You likely have injuries to recover from, a motorcycle to fix, and a host of financial worries, especially if you cannot return to work immediately after the accident.
Will retaining an attorney really help?
Many people think they do not need an attorney to assist with their pursuit of compensation following a motorcycle accident. They can, after all, just turn their motorcycle accident claim over to the insurance companies to handle it, right? In reality, however, your insurance company may not provide as much value as you might hope while handling your motorcycle accident claim.
Often, insurance companies will aim for a fast settlement and may not seek maximum compensation on your behalf. An attorney, on the other hand, can provide significant advantages to your claim. Below, we discuss some of those advantages.
1. An attorney will help you determine how much compensation you need to cover the full cost of your injuries from a motorcycle accident.
Often, the insurance company that covers the liable party will try to convince you to accept a low settlement offer—one that may not reflect the full cost of your injuries. Not only that, but the insurance company may not disclose the full coverage amount of the policy to you or might try to negotiate down the compensation offered to reduce the company’s financial liability.
An attorney, on the other hand, will help you understand the true value of your claim by engaging in the following important tasks:
- Reviewing your expenses related to the accident. Did you suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI)? Did you have to miss a great deal of work due to your injuries? Did you have higher medical expenses related to broken bones from your accident than you initially anticipated? All of these potential expenses can leave you struggling financially after your motorcycle accident. An attorney, however, can help you go through all expenses and determine how much compensation you should seek to cover the full cost of your injuries.
- Evaluating who caused or contributed to your accident. Did you know that multiple parties can bear liability for your accident? In addition to the party that directly caused your motorcycle accident injuries, you may find that mechanical error contributed to your accident or that the driver’s employer had policies that contributed to the accident. An attorney can review all potentially liable parties and provide you with a better assessment of the value of your case.
- Discussing how pain and suffering may impact your claim. Each motorcycle victim’s pain and suffering is different. People have varying levels of pain related to injuries sustained in the accident. They may also find that their injuries impact their ability to engage in the other activities that they love. Some people with spinal cord injuries, for example, may quickly adapt to their restrictions and choose to focus on activities and hobbies that do not involve a great deal of physical movement. Others, however, may struggle more with the loss of certain hobbies. An attorney can help you better understand how your specific losses will influence your claim.
2. An attorney has your best interests at heart.
As you file your motorcycle accident claim, you will deal with a range of people who have their own best interests, or that of their company, in mind. The liable party, for example, may want to reduce personal liability as much as possible, especially if it means avoiding legal or financial penalties. The insurance company that covers the liable driver may try to reduce the amount it has to pay out as much as possible, while the liable driver may do his best to prove that he did not cause your accident because his contributions could lead to significant legal penalties.
Your attorney, on the other hand, has your best interests in mind. Your attorney can help you understand your rights and provide staunch support by putting together the information that describes your claim effectively. This can provide valuable peace of mind during an incredibly difficult period of your life.
3. An attorney can investigate your motorcycle accident to collect evidence and compile an effective claim.
After a motorcycle accident, you may need to prove who caused or contributed to your injuries. An attorney can investigate your accident to ensure that you do not miss out on any compensation. For example, an attorney may look for evidence directly relating to your accident, including what the liable driver did that caused your injuries. Did the liable driver drive while drunk, tired, or distracted? Did he or she speed or otherwise ignore the rules of the road? Did he or she drive aggressively? An attorney can review dashcam footage, check for traffic camera footage, and review witness statements. Often, an attorney can get access to information that you might not have the ability to access on your own.
In addition, an attorney may need to investigate other elements of your motorcycle accident to fully understand everything that led to your injuries. For example, if a brake failure contributed to your motorcycle accident, the attorney may investigate related recalls and determine whether the manufacturer knew that those brakes could fail. The attorney may also look into the mechanic who installed the brakes, especially in the case of a recent installation. Does that mechanic have a habit of failing to properly install brakes? Does he or she often fail to complete all the repairs on a vehicle in his shop? If so, it could indicate negligence on behalf of the mechanic.
4. Working with an attorney will help prevent you from having to deal with the liable party’s insurance company directly.
You may quickly start to dread calls from the insurance company following your motorcycle accident. Even in an initial conversation, you may feel like the insurance agent wants to trip you up—to catch you claiming fewer injuries than you put in your motorcycle accident claim, for example, or trying to convince you to say something that accepts some liability for the accident, which may help reduce the insurance company’s overall liability for your injuries.
Then, the insurance company may issue a settlement offer that really does not reflect your claim’s true value. That initial settlement may come very soon after your accident, but reflect a relatively small percentage of your medical bills and other expenses related to your motorcycle accident. The insurance company may pressure you heavily to accept that settlement offer or to accept a future (often also low) settlement offer.
Each time the insurance company checks in with you, you may feel additional pressure and frustration.
When you work with an attorney, on the other hand, you will no longer have to deal with the liable party’s insurance company directly. Instead, you can turn those interactions over to your lawyer. Your attorney will help you determine the total cost of your injuries, which can help prevent you from accepting a settlement offer that fails to genuinely reflect your needs.
5. An attorney can put together an effective claim.
Your attorney will compile all of the information associated with your accident and put it together in an effective claim. For many motorcycle accident victims, this will substantially increase the compensation offered by the insurance company initially.
This claim will contain all of the information needed to prove how your injuries occurred, what injuries you suffered, and who contributed to your injuries, as well as what losses you have faced as a result of your injuries. The claim will also detail what compensation you expect as a result of those losses. While an attorney cannot guarantee the compensation you will receive as a result of your injuries, he or she can put together a strong estimate that takes into consideration the specific circumstances of your motorcycle accident.
6. An attorney can help alleviate stress during the period following your motorcycle accident.
Many motorcycle accident victims find both the recovery process and the legal process highly stressful. You may have no idea what the process will look like. Not only that, every call from the insurance company can set your teeth on edge.
An attorney can help reduce your stress levels and free up your time to focus on your recovery. An attorney can:
Provide you with information about what to expect next
What will the next step of the claim process look like? How long should you expect it to take for the insurance company to compensate you for your expenses?
You may have a lot of questions about your motorcycle accident claim. An attorney can walk you through the process and give you a better idea of what to expect and what you need to do to increase the odds that you will receive timely compensation.
Take over many of the responsibilities associated with your claim
Once you have provided your attorney with all of the information needed to manage your claim, you will not have to worry about the day-to-day management of your claim. Instead, you can leave that process in the hands of legal professionals that aren’t emotionally invested in the process, but who will work hard to ensure that you recover maximum compensation.
Your attorney can communicate with you the way you prefer, whether that means getting in touch with you regularly to provide more information about your claim or contacting you only when he or she needs something from you—approval for a specific settlement offer, for example, or more information about your current medical status and your injuries’ overall impact on your life. Often, if you have struggled with the stress related to your motorcycle accident, you may find it more practical to turn those negotiations over to your lawyer and receive only minimal communication about the process so that you can focus all of your efforts on your recovery.
Provide a letter of protection regarding your medical bills
Many motorcycle accident victims struggle to take care of their medical expenses while waiting for a settlement to arrive. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can put together a letter of protection that will establish your intent to take care of those medical bills once you receive your settlement, which can prevent those bills from going to collections and provide you with some breathing room. For many motorcycle accident victims, this can significantly reduce financial worries.
If you suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident, do not try to handle your claim on your own. Instead, contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon after your accident as possible.
Gomez Trial Attorneys
655 West Broadway, Suite 1700
San Diego, Ca 92101